You might have the entire museum to yourself and your group this fall with small bookings in order to adhere to public health guidelines. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives)

Fewer people, but more visits added to North Okanagan museum

‘Often, you may have the entire museum to yourself and your group, which could be very cool.’

As students go back to school or return to home-based and online learning, the new school year is certainly different than it has been in the past. One notable difference is fewer large group field trips.

In response to new public health guidelines, Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is offering times reserved for small groups and individuals to explore the museum’s displays, archives, and collections.

“It’s an opportunity to book times in the museum and archives, while following provincial and federal guidelines emphasizing we all work together to keep groups small, especially indoors,” program coordinator Laisha Rosnau said.

Beginning in October, the museum will be available to book ahead for small groups on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as well as Wednesday afternoons. This is in addition to public booking times for the Archives, each afternoon from Tuesday to Friday.

Independent learners, such as homeschool students and those learning online, and small groups of students from local schools will be able to engage with the exhibits and resources at museum and archives.

“As well, individuals, families and others who have formed bubbles together are invited to explore the museum and archives, knowing we’ll be booking limited people during these times,” said Rosnau. “Often, you may have the entire museum to yourself and your group, which could be very cool.”

As well as small group bookings onsite at the museum and archives, the museum is continuing its popular Heritage Field Trips on Friday mornings in September and October.

Small groups can book ahead for tours of sites such as Fintry Estate, OK Landing Stationhouse Museum, Allan Brooks Nature Centre, Mackie Lake House and Caetani Cultural Centre. The next field trip is to the Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary Sept. 18 at 10:30 a.m. Register through the museum.

To kick off the beginning of the fall small cohort booking season, the museum will launching its fall foyer exhibit: Pandemic. This will be followed later in the fall by the “small yet grand opening” of the newly remodeled Natural History Children’s Museum exhibit space.

“As we all move into cooler weather, and more time indoors, GVMA will also be hosting online programming and virtual exhibits on our website, beginning with a virtual tour of our upcoming Pandemic exhibit,” said Rosnau.

“We hope to find new ways to engage with our area’s heritage and history and to reflect on how our experiences in the past can inform our present and our future.”

For more information on all of GVMA’s programs, visit www.vernonmuseum.ca.

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